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UK online job adverts climb back to pre-pandemic level

Catering and hospitality jobs increased by 10% to 58% of the average in February 2020

The number of new job postings is rapidly rising as the UK is finding its way out of the pandemic.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said on Thursday that job listings have now reached the level they were at in February 2020, before the beginning of the pandemic and when lockdown restrictions were first introduced.

Some of the biggest increases came from the legal and hospitality industries while vacancies increased across 16 out of the 28 industries counted. The report by the ONS used data collected by search engine for jobs ads Adzuna.

Catering and hospitality jobs increased by 10% to 58% of the average in February 2020 as the industry went on a hiring spree ahead of reopening.

Since 12 April “non-essential” retail outlets have been reopening, as well as outdoor operations for hospitality venues, including pubs, restaurants and cafes.

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The report by the oNS estimated that UK dinner reservations at the beginning of this week were at around 79% of levels seen two years prior.

“We have seen a marked shift in the number of companies seeking to book and organise events in recent weeks,” said Jo Ferreday, managing director of hospitality and events company Sheer Edge. 

“The economy is starting to open up and many hospitality businesses are beginning to hire staff so that they can hit the ground running when things hopefully return to normal in the not-too-distant future.”

Data released on Thursday by Morgan McKinley, and conducted separately, showed that finance vacancies in London had jumped up by 70% as confidence increased.

However, while some sectors saw rises in job openings, many saw declines. Listings in travel and tourism fell by 16% to 84% of February 2020 levels.

The international travel and indoor hospitality sectors are waiting patiently until 17 May to see if the relevant restrictions will be lifted.

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